It's been two days since my break up with Sean and I hadn't spoken to Nate at all. But today was it. I was finally going to talk to him. There were butterflies in my stomach as I rang the doorbell to his house.
Tyler opened it and gave me a huge toothy grin. He tugged at my hand and squealed, "AJ! I haven't seen you in ages!"
"I missed you too Ty," I smiled, giving his head a rub and messing up his hair.
"Do you wanna play with my new action figure? Dad just bought it for me!" he asked excitedly.
"I'd love to sweetie, but maybe another time? Is Nate around?" I asked.
"Yeah he's upstairs," Tyler said, and then he turned to the direction of the stairs and yelled at the top of his voice, "NATE! AJ'S HERE!"
"Coming!" I heard Nate yell back. He came bounding down the stairs a few minutes later and stopped short when he saw me. We must have stood there for a full minute staring at each other. And then he smiled and came over.
We stood awkwardly at the door with Tyler watching us curiously.
"Uh Ty, go do your homework," Nate said, nudging his little brother away. Tyler pouted a little and walked away. Nate stepped out onto the front porch with me and closed the door behind him.
Damn. I had this whole speech planned out in my head the last two days about what fools we both were and about my completely cheesy and corny, deep and undying love for him. And now looking at him, all the words in my head have become jumbled up again.
"Hey," he said.
He motioned for us to sit down at the steps and we did.
"So those blue notes, they were from you," I said, breaking the silence between us.
Nate smiled, "When did you figure it out?"
"Just a few days ago."
He nodded and didn't seem inclined to add anything.
"I don't understand Nate," I sighed. "First you start dating Sarah, and you have multiple fights with me because of her, you set me up with Sean, and while you're still dating her and fighting with me you send me these really sweet notes in my locker."
He picked up a twig from the ground and started breaking it into tiny pieces.
"I dunno AJ…" he mumbled. "I guess the truth is, I've liked you since we were fifteen or something."
My eyes widened at this revelation. Nate's liked me since we were fifteen?
"You stopped being just my best friend. You were this amazing, incredible girl that I had so much fun with. And you understood me like no one else did. But a girl like you, you'd never like a guy like me," he frowned, looking dejected.
Was he kidding? A girl me like? Never like a guy like him? Has he looked at himself in the mirror lately?
"If you liked me, then why did you date all those other girls?" I asked.
"Because I was an idiot. I thought I couldn't have you, and I didn't want to risk our friendship by saying anything stupid to you either. I thought the best solution was to hook up with some other girls so I would maybe find someone that could make me feel the way I felt around you," he admitted.
I didn't know what to say. All this was so new to me. I never would in a million years imagine this was how he felt all these years.
"When I set you up with Connors, I didn't think much of it. I just thought you'd beat the crap out of him like you did the last few guys and then we'd have a good laugh about it. But I could tell you liked him. I should have known," he chuckled darkly. "Connors was different."
"If you hadn't been so infuriating about the whole Sarah thing, Sean and I probably wouldn't have had the chance at any relationship," I told him. He sighed and nodded.
"I was really jealous you know. That's probably why I acted the way I did. I really wanted it to work with Sarah after that, because I thought I'd lost you to Sean, and I wanted to force myself to believe I could feel the same about Sarah as I did for you. Kinda backfired on me huh?" he smiled, shaking his head.
"And now it's too late, you're with Sean," he muttered, throwing the last bit of broken twig on the ground.
I stared at him in surprise. So he didn't know that Sean and I broke up. He thought I was still was Sean! I almost laughed at how ridiculous the two of us are.
"Nate, Sean and I broke up two days ago," I said.
Having been staring at the ground the whole time, he finally looked up at me.
"Sean and I broke up," I repeated.
"Why?" he gaped at me.
I smiled and reached out to touch his hand. I could feel the tingling sensation in the pit of my stomach as our fingers touched.
"Because you idiot, I'm in love with you," I said softly.
Nate stared down at our intertwined fingers and then back up at me. My heart was beating so quickly.
"Oh thank God," he whispered, as he pulled me into a hug. I breathed in his scent as my cheek lay against his shoulder. He just held on to me tightly. "I love you so much AJ."
I pulled away from him and asked, "So what now?"
"Whatever you want," he replied, looking at me expectantly.
"I'm not good at the whole dating thing," I frowned.
"Neither am I," he laughed. "But I'm willing to give it another go if you are."
I did want to give us a chance, but at the back of my mind there were so many voices nagging at me. Graduation was round the corner, there was no telling where Nate and I would end up in college. We could be miles apart. What if we didn't work out and we ruined our whole friendship?
Nate seemed to sense the doubt in my mind as he reached out and brushed a stray strand of hair away from my face.
"Hey, we've both been through so much to get here. It won't end just like that, I promise," he said, stroking my cheek as he leaned in closer to me.
He knew me too well.
Nate was right, this is going to be different from all the other relationships we've both had. We're Nate and AJ. AJ and Nate. Whatever the hell comes our way, we'll snowball right through it.
I smiled and closed the gap between us, touching his lips lightly with mine in a tentative kiss. He grinned against my mouth as his hands went to the back of my head and pulled me closer.
Yup, this was pure bliss.
3 years later
I sat on a bench reading through an essay I was doing for school. I was on the Columbia campus, waiting for Nate to finish classes so we could head to lunch together.
My phone beeped and I picked it up to see a text message from Courtney: Looking through bridal magazines and saw the PERFECT wedding dress. You have to come with me to try it on this weekend!
I smiled and texted back my affirmative response.
Courtney and Mike were both in NYU with me and had recently gotten engaged. They were planning to have a long engagement and have the wedding probably two years later. Even so, Courtney has been going crazy over all things to do with the wedding.
Brenda and Eddie broke up shortly after graduation but are still friends. She's in Boston now while Eddie is studying in Brown.
It's been three years and Nate and I are still going strong.
I don't know about forever, but this sure as hell feels like it.
A/N: Hey guys! Wow it's finally over! I hope in the end you don't hate Nate that much. It's just a typical story of a boy who can't figure out his feelings you know? And also because the story is written in AJ's point of view, Nate doesn't get to tell his side of the story.
Anyway, hope you guys have enjoyed this story! Do check out my new story The 'Girlfriend' Pact. It's something that I've been working on in more recent years but never got round to publish. Also, with regard to my other story, Sharing a Penthouse with the Devil, as of now I have no intentions of continuing it, but who knows, I might decide to continue it some time if I find the inspiration
Well that's basically it, thanks again for all the support over the years for this story. It's been amazing, the number of reviews it has gotten! xx